China cuts import tariffs
The Chinese finance ministry included certain types of sausage and cheese in a list of 187 items that will benefit from the changes, which come into force on December 1. The ministry said the latest tariff cuts form part of a strategy followed since 2015, which aims to “rationally increase import” in line with changes in consumer demand.
“The reduction of import tariffs focuses on high quality products in short supply domestically and distinctive high end products, which provide more choice to consumer and point the way for transforming and upgrading domestic supply chains,” the ministry explained.
When it comes to meat, the ministry is reducing tariffs on blood sausages from 15% to 8%. Chinese imports under this tariff heading were worth little more than EUR 200000 in 2016. More than 90% of these imports came from France. Tariffs are being reduced by the same amount on another sausage line. Imports under this heading were worth EUR 1.9 million in 2016. The bulk of this was supplied by South Korea.
The reductions are of far more significance for the dairy industry as they include some high value cheese items. Tariffs on grated or powdered cheeses are being reduced from 12% to 8%. China spent almost EUR100 million on products in this category last year, more than two thirds of which came from New Zealand. Most of the rest came from the US and EU.
Tariffs will be cut by the same amount for processed cheese. China spent some EUR 64 million on products in this category last year. Leading suppliers included New Zealand, EU, US and Australia.